Infinited Hate, "Heaven Termination"
I threw this into the CD-player without reading the promo material or even looking very closely at the packaging, but judging the album by it's cover art, I figured I was in for some head crushing death metal. Several decent death metal songs went by and two things stuck out. One was the drummer, blasting away with an intense zeal (turns out it's Dirk Verbeuren, he of Aborted, Scarve, and Soilwork fame); and the other thing was that I could swear I'd heard this band before.
My instinct proved to be right on target, as Infinited Hate is essentially Dutch death metal stalwarts Sinister (it helps to read the promo material, or at least to open up the booklet... or even to check Deadtide's archived reviews of the previous release "Revel in Bloodshed"!) Sinister... okay, allow me to wax nostalgic. I have fond memories of driving around Houston with my country music loving ex-girlfriend, blasting "Cross the Styx" and loving the mortified look on her face (needless to say, our relationship was deteriorating rapidly at that point). Yeah... good times. Okay so, this isn't Sinister, despite having former members from that band in this one, including Rachel Kloosterwaard (one of the few female death metal vocalists). The big difference is that Aad Kloosterwaard is on vocals instead of drums, hence the inclusion of Dirk Verbeuren to batter the skins, replacing the drum machine used on "Revel in Bloodshed".
The promo material states that they started this project to combine "old school death metal with new US death metal style, something they cannot do with their own band". As much as I like this, and as good as it is, ultimately it still sounds like Sinister to me. That being said, this is a solid death metal release that doesn't break the mold or do anything different but manages to belch forth a gnarly and sometimes technical noise that I quite appreciate. Guitar and bass are played by Ron van de Polder, who also wrote all the music and lyrics, and his guitar playing really makes this work, along with the consistently stellar drumming of Dirk. Aad and Rachel's vocals are solid and dare I say, workmanlike. Still, there's a lot to like about van de Polder's music; and decent production certainly helps the overall vibe. Not a lot of soloing, mostly just little touches here and there (1:54 to 2:12 of "Purity Corrupted", for instance), but his rhythm work is quite good throughout. "First Faced Aggressor" has a speedy groove that reminds me of Deicide's brighter moments. The cover tune on this one is Unleashed's "Before Creation of Time", which is a nice choice... old school!
There's no doubt the legacy of Sinister is being amply carried on by Infinited Hate. I may not be elevating this to best-of-year status, but that's not to say it's a bad album... it's not. It's good, sometimes very good, and it deserves a listen from anyone who had an interest in Sinister.